Nov 11, 2013

Answering the most serious question about unconditional basic income

The most serious question about the unconditional basic income is this: Where is the money coming from?

There are many different answers. Each has its merits, depending on the individual country's context.

The answers include:

1. The money will come from savings when many current welfare expenses become redundant. The savings include the current administrative expenses on filtering out the "undeserving" from the "deserving".

2. A tax on land values.

3. A new tax that will be hardly noticeable, e.g., a minuscule tax on financial tradings.

My favorite answer:

1. The money will come from revenues generated from a country's common wealth, e.g., from oil, minerals, land sales or lease, sovereign wealth funds, and various licenses.

There are many reasons.

1. This is justice. The confiscated citizen dividend is returned to citizens. This is recognizing the citizen right to ownership of the country and consequently a right to dividend from this ownership.

2. The amount is not insignificant. In fact, the amount can be "huge", depending on the country. In the USA, the amount could exceed the minimum wage on a yearly basis for each citizen. See more estimates here.

3. No one can claim to be subsidizing the poor. The money doesn't come from him. Everyone gets his or her own citizen dividend back as an owner of the country. There is no loss of dignity in getting your very own citizen dividend. Ask the Alaskans, who have been getting their citizen dividends for three decades.

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